little green footballs

Islamophobia, Fox News, and Bogus Statistics

Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 6:57:50 pm

Steve Emerson, who claims to be an Islam expert, was on Fox News spouting off bogus statistics about Muslims living in the UK. He claimed that Birmingham and other cities are majority Muslim and that non-Muslims can't go there (no-go zones).

Steven Emerson, an American whose website describes him as a leading authority on Islamic extremist networks, told Fox News in a live broadcast Sunday that in Britain "there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don't go in."

Emerson, who was discussing the recent terror attacks in Paris with host Jeanine Pirro, also claimed that in parts of London, "Muslim religious police" beat and injure "anyone who doesn't dress according to Muslim religious attire."

Official figures show that the number of Muslims in Birmingham, Britain's second-largest city, numbered at 234,411, or 22 percent of the city's population. That compares to 494,358 who described themselves as Christian.

Emerson quickly tweeted an apology saying his comments were "totally inaccurate." But his comments continued to draw derision online, spawning dozens of humorous reactions on social media.

Many posted absurd, fictitious claims and jokes about Islam and Birmingham with the hashtag #FoxNewsFacts, which was trending on Twitter on Monday. One Twitter user said Birmingham buildings wear burqas and posted a photo of a building covered in scaffolding.

It was patently BS, and he had to walk back those claims, but not before he got them out there. That was entirely the point. Spout off claims that don't hold up to scrutiny and hope no one notices.

Islamophobia is real, and people like Emerson are spreading their noxious nonsense all over the media, especially Fox News.

As a reminder, this is the true demographic picture in Europe, and far from being a majority anywhere, there's a range from insignificant minority to a substantial minority.

This is the best visualization I've yet seen of Europe's "Muslim tide" hysteria pic.twitter.com/a681LGp4yR

— Doug Saunders (@DougSaunders) January 9, 2015

In Birmingham, Muslims make up 22% of the population, which is hardly a majority (unless you're playing RWNJ math).

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron has called out Emerson's nonsense as well.

British PM David Cameron: "Steven Emerson is clearly an idiot." http://t.co/w21ntJU5Ek #KeepCalmAndGetPaidForMakingShitUp #FoxnewsFacts

— Zeddonymous (@ZeddRebel) January 12, 2015

I'd go further and say that he's not an idiot. He knows exactly what he's doing. He's sowing discord and fear of all Muslims, even though 98% of terrorism in Europe is not related to Islamic extremists. He's sowing Islamophobia, and his audience is more than willing to pursue extreme measures - from limiting immigration to the US and curtailing constitutional rights and protections all the way to the genocidal calls to nuke all Muslims.

It's a sickness, and there's no easy cure.

UPDATE at 1/12/15 10:19:09 am by lawhawk


For the statistics, here's what I've come up with:

The EU report indicates that for 2013, there were no terrorist attacks specifically classified as religiously inspired, though two attacks show role of religious radicalization (section 2.1). For 2013, there were 152 attacks total, with 535 arrests made.

Doing the math for 2013, and that works out to 2 out of 152 incidents = 1.3%
Doing the same for 2012, and the EU reports 219 attacks, six of which were religiously motivated. Since one of those attacks included the murder of a Shi'a imam in conjunction with an arson attack, I adjusted that to 5. 5 out of 219 = 2.2%

So, for 2012-2013, we're looking at 371 attacks, 7 of which are religiously motivated. That's 1.34%. In other words, that means 98.66% are not related to Islamic terrorism.

If you want to quibble that I shouldn't have excluded the murder of the imam, then you're looking at 6 out of 219 = 2.7% and 8 out of 371 for the period, which is 2.1%. That works out to 97.9%.